• July 24, 2024

Barack Obama calls opponents of Iran deal ‘the crazies’

There are the people on his side on the Iran deal, President Barack Obama said Monday evening. Then there are “the crazies.” Back from a notably uneventful and restful two-week vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama was immediately on the road for a short trip here, first to speak at a green energy conference hosted by retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, then to raise money for his preferred successor, former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

Ruddy from the sun, Obama described himself as “refreshed, renewed, recharged — a little feisty.” And he delivered, recounting the ride he and Reid had just taken from the conference to the fundraiser in his up-armored presidential limo, where they talked about old times and getting back to Washington to “deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems.”

The line evoked the late Dean Acheson, who as secretary of state liked to refer to opponents of Harry Truman’s foreign policy as ”the primitives.” Getting the Iran deal through Congress will be Obama’s major hurdle coming into September. Likely incoming Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is against the deal, as are a number of other Hill Democrats. Obama’s already been under fire for saying opponents of the deal have made “common cause” with Iranian hardliners, with Republicans pressing him on whether he’d lump Democrats into that group along with the GOP.

On Sunday, Reid backed the deal, and though he said Monday that there’s a long way to go, in the White House and beyond, his support is seen as very helpful. “Harry’s leadership matters,” Obama said earlier at the conference, referring to his support.

In a reflective mood, Obama said he and Reid also spent part of the ride talking about “riding off in the sunset together.”


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